video of biomass harvest

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Joe

video of biomass harvest

Post by Joe » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:14 am

Video of biomass harvest in Orange, MA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDSSBNyI ... LDlqMZwfHH

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDSSBNyIRbE&context=C39b6d5aADOEgsToPDskLPabtNn_ERxSLDlqMZwfHH

I sent that link to a lot of people and got some nice resplies including the following from David Foster, chief honcho at Harvard Forest in Petersham.
Joe
-----------------------------------------

Joe

This is a superb video. Photography is great and high resolution and the information on the equipment, harvesting and objectives are presented very nicely. Commentary is just right – even understated.

With the complete support of the university the Harvard Forest is about to begin construction on a new biomass heating plant and as we start to implement our long-term management plans on about a third of our property (where we expect to get 100% of our biomass) this kind of operation is exactly what we envision. One other aspect of our effort will be to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the carbon and energy dynamics – from harvesting, transportation, and burning to forest ecosystem dynamics.

In the future you can expect to see some complementary movies on our new web page.

http://harvardforest.fas.harvard.edu/

David

________________________
David Foster
Director
Harvard Forest
Harvard University
Petersham, MA 01366 USA
.

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jamesrobertsmith
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Re: video of biomass harvest

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:29 pm

I have to say, that's one hell of a machine! What do they do with "harvested biomass"? Is this just another term for wood-chipping?

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Don
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Re: video of biomass harvest

Post by Don » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:38 pm

James
Joe's post above speaks to a new biomass heating plant, that could utilized 'harvested biomass' for heating of campuses, for that matter businesses, etc.

In the Southwest, specifically in northern Arizona but increasingly elsewhere as we speak, the unnaturally dense, unthinned, fire protected ponderosa pine forests are undergoing similar soft on the land treatments much like Joe's...industries are starting up to utilize the 'harvested biomass'.
The big winners? The public. I lived in Flagstaff from 1996 through 2006, and too many times had wildfires rage through our forests, threatening our community. As a stakeholding member of the Greater Flagstaff Forest Partnership, we worked collaboratively with environmental organizations, city/county/state/federal agencies, private inholders, Northern Arizona University and others to gain consensus, perform research for effective treatments, and and congressional support. This resulted in what became nationally as the Flagstaff Plan, and is taking place now, as we speak.

The basic premise is that we needed to return the forest to presettlement fire regimes, where densities and age structures where characterized by large yellow-barked ponderosas, and grassy openings. This condition was established and maintained by frequent, low-intensity fires, usually ignited by lightning (northern Arizona has one of the highest lightning downstrike density counts of anywhere in the US). It was the right hearted but wrong-thinking fire suppression policies that gained wide US acceptance (read Smokey the Bear campaign) in the early 1900's).

I've rambled when all you asked was a simple question...sorry, I ended up providing you with a context for 'harvested biomass'...
-Don
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
http://www.akbigtreelist.org

Joe

Re: video of biomass harvest

Post by Joe » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:05 am

jamesrobertsmith wrote:I have to say, that's one hell of a machine! What do they do with "harvested biomass"? Is this just another term for wood-chipping?
the chips go to an old "biomass plant" near Fitchburg, MA which produces electricity- it's something like 25 years old- it's the only one in MA- in the past 2-3 years a ferocious battle has been fought over building new biomass plants in this state- the battle hasn't yet been resolved
Joe

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jamesrobertsmith
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Re: video of biomass harvest

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:54 am

Don wrote: I've rambled when all you asked was a simple question...sorry, I ended up providing you with a context for 'harvested biomass'...
-Don
Not at all! I appreciate detailed answers!

I have read some papers and essays on the unintended consequences of fire suppression over the decades of the 1900s, so I know what you're talking about concerning the problems that the kind of harvesting in that video can apparently alleviate.

And, yes, it seems that "harvested biomass" is another term for wood-chipping. Nothing wrong with that unless it's carried too far. I've read some horror stories of this kind of thing being taken to extremes on formerly forested sites in Alabama.

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Bart Bouricius
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Re: video of biomass harvest

Post by Bart Bouricius » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:23 pm

Joe,

The circumstances and methodology seem to be optimized in this situation with this very small plant, however the larger context of biomass production often involves clear cutting large areas to produce electricity in an extremely polluting way. In the Pioneer Valley of Western Mass where two large Biomass plants are proposed for Springfield and Greenfield, the rates of asthma and other respiratory diseases are already high, partly because of a Coal Burning plant. If one accepts that CO2 is an important greenhouse gas that contributes to global warning, then solar and wind would make much more sense for generating electricity as long as they are done appropriately.

Joe

Re: video of biomass harvest

Post by Joe » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:10 am

Bart Bouricius wrote:Joe,

The circumstances and methodology seem to be optimized in this situation with this very small plant, however the larger context of biomass production often involves clear cutting large areas to produce electricity in an extremely polluting way. In the Pioneer Valley of Western Mass where two large Biomass plants are proposed for Springfield and Greenfield, the rates of asthma and other respiratory diseases are already high, partly because of a Coal Burning plant. If one accepts that CO2 is an important greenhouse gas that contributes to global warning, then solar and wind would make much more sense for generating electricity as long as they are done appropriately.
I'm extremely well aware of the controversy in the CT Valley- I was for a long time very much involved with many of the opponents- first with them 100% in their battle against clearcutting on state land and the hideous logging on state state land- especially Chris Matera, Don Ogden, Glen Ayers, Ray Webber, Claudia Hurley and many others- I helped them, the only forester in the state to do so, i went to everyone of those sites- took pictures and video, helped them fight that battle- I spent most of a year on the state's Forest Futures Vision Process for just this reason- the forestry profession considered me a traitor

when the anti biomass battle started- I was very skeptical of biomass- I was the only forester in the entire nation to even listen to them- I am well aware of the carbon emissions issue- I read the Manomet report twice- I've read litteraly hundreds of science articles on the subject- but the carbon emissions issue is not yet resolved- even Manomet did not solve this problem- they came up with a model- but that's all that it is- it's all too complicated to come up with absolute numbers

what got me was exaggeration- when Chris Matera and others said biomass would result in deforestation- I concluded that wasn't true- yes, there is clearcutting going on, but on private property that's not very common- on state land that's not likely to occur much because of all the uproar over it

then I, unlike any of the anti biomass people, went out to see actual biomass harvests, especially those of Mike Leonard (http://www.facebook.com/media/albums/?i ... 4529310729)- and they are fabulous examples of excellent forestry- I have since learned that they are typical of biomass harvests- so it's just plain false to make any claims that biomass will result in massive deforestation- I tried to convince Chris about this- but he just wouldn't listen

the reality is that the type of logging I show on the video is far better than almost any logging ever done in this state

and, as far as carbon emissions- the reality is everyone is emitting vast amounts of carbon- those who oppose biomass, I don't see them trading in their cars/trucks for horses or just walking everywhere or taking buses/trains- they like to fly in carbon spewing jets, especially Chris and Mary Booth and Meg Sheehan who set up the anti biomass petition- I don't see such people selling their houses for tiny houses- I don't see them all becomming vegetarians

so if they and the rest of the world doesn't all convert to an extremely low carbon emitting lifestyle, they should avoid trying to make forestry so ultra pure in this regard

as for pollution- it's been claimed by many people that the pollution from these plants is not nearly as bad as claimed- I met a doctor who lives next to the biomass plant in the Fitchburg area- he said you can't see the smoke, you can't smell the smoke and there is no increase in asthma in the area- so this issue too is grossly exagerated

what really and ultimately blew my socks off was when Genevieve Fraser did an "expose" of Meg Sheehan- showing that Meg's family foundation was heavily invested in fossil fuels: http://www.farmfieldforest.org/2011/05/ ... thing.html

that really reeked of hypocrisy and perhaps much more- that really turned a lot of people against her and the anti biomass group

so, the fact is, in my opinion, that biomass is not perfect- there certainly is SOME carbon emissions and I don't claim it's carbon neutral- but it surely is far more carbon neutral than fossil fuels which just increase the total amount of carbon in the carbon cycle

and, biomass harvesting, when done right, is a superior form of forestry- and such good forestry will indeed greatly enhance the future value of the forest- and by doing this, it's going to help landowners to NOT sell out to developers

and, indeed, it will create thousands of jobs- which we desperately need in this state

at least with one of the opponents, Glen Ayeres, he said he lives in a single room, drives a tiny car, is a vegetarian- so I told him that I consider him a saint and give him permission to rant all he wants against biomass- but the non saints in the anti biomass group should be careful what they say or be considered hypocrites

we live in a filthy world filled with carbon spewing- we're all guilty- biomass is no worse than everything else, it's actually much bette and is a very creative act by improving the forests

virtually the entire rest of the world is moving ahead with biomass, and trying to reduce fossil fuels- including some of the most progressive nations in the world- every other state in the USA is also doing this

we could presume that the rest of the world is crazy and only Mass. has a small elite of enlightened people trying to stop this Satainic industry- or we might come to different conclusion- that when done right it's a good thing, the harvesting MUST be done right, the wood MUST go only to ultra efficient, modest in size, thermal or CHP facilities

the solution then is to not try to kill biomass but to make it as good as possible

Joe

Joe

Re: video of biomass harvest

Post by Joe » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:45 am

another thing that turned me toward biomass is the recent boom in humungous solar and wind "farms" in Mass.

directly behind my house is going to be a 3 MW solar "farm"- it's going to look like the Sahara Desert covered with 15,000 solar panels and the area is zoned residential/rural- I will be releasing a video on this in the summer

then there's the humungous wind "farms" such as the one proposed in Shelburne Falls

what's really amazed me is that the folks who are vehement against biomass have said all too little about this phony baloney "farms"- at least if they fought as hard against them as against biomass, I'd consider them as having a balanced perspective- but apparently many of the anti biomass people are all to enamored of solar and wind, thinking that all such energy sources are a Godsend

I think solar and wind are fine when done right- solar should NOT cover the landscape unless out in the bare desert. Think if all the south facing roofs in the state had solar panels and if we built them over parking lots! As for wind- to build them on mountains requires building roads 100' wide to the top. These solar and wind "farms" are as heavily subsidized as biomass and maybe more so and the state seems to love them and pushes them as hard as possible- even more so now that biomass has been beaten down because the state wants to meet its 2008 GW Act. So, my 'hood has been severely damaged as a place to live because of the anti biomass temporary victory and I resent it. I attach (if I can figure out how- a picture of me sitting in the middle of this 17 acre sandy desert).
Joe
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